The UK faces either a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) based on the recent EU-Canadian agreement that will still disadvantage UK services, and which – on current information – would take us well past the two year transitional period post March 2019 legal exit, ending early 2021; or a long-term Norway European Economic Association (EEA)-type arrangement involving continuing adherence to the single market with its four freedoms, including FOM, as well as continuing membership fees and fealty to EoJ jurisdiction on SM matters.
The former would inflict continuing economic damage while the latter is logically absurd (why not just stay in and retain influence) and is likely be politically unacceptable due to the self serving unwillingness of the political class to ‘disrespect the will of the people’, despite the population being sold brexit on a false prospectus, or more kindly, one that was based on imperfect and incomplete information, a deception that is now steadily and surely emerging.
A hybrid of these two options, perhaps – the author of this post, like others, suffers from imperfect information on this complex, technical and unfolding story – is more likely: extended de facto continuing UK CU and SM adherence until a CFTA is agreed sometime mid-next-decade. This could allow UK exit from the CU, while allowing continuing indefinite UK SM involvement for services. Such a hybrid would allow the political brexit can to be kicked down down the road past a 2022 election